[Jandek] Nashville Saturday

Michael.Goldman at CH2M.com Michael.Goldman at CH2M.com
Wed Nov 4 06:34:55 PST 2009

Jandek In Nashville - it was another triumphant show for the Rep.  The first one I have seen in a rock club setting.  Brad, the curator did a great job with getting the sound taken care of and picking a location.  Nashville's Basement is downstairs from a topnotch record store.  I had to get out of that place or I was going to broke.  Jandek was the middle act of a bill of three (another indicator that he is loosening up with his public appearances).  The first act was fairly terrible - ineptly played power pop, led a by a hulking Euro-oaf who kept attempting to engage the audience in sing-along's.  Luckily they didn't last forever.  The Rep took the stage and stood to the back with the drummer.  At the front the violinist (also played samisen and ehru - don't hold me to the spelling) and the harmonium sat cross-legged on the stage.  The music was reminiscent of the Velvet Underground places due the drummer's slightly tribal rhythms and some Cale-like solos from the violinist.  The Rep sang on every tune and traced out themes of hope and despair while using western imagery of horses and pick-ups trucks.  The first few numbers felt a little tentative but around song 4 or 5 they really caught traction.  The emphasis of the music was more on texture than melodic movement, especially with the harmonium providing a lush chordal pad and the Rep playing a fretless bass with a slide.  Also some of the passages sounded middle eastern, no doubt due to the Asian-styled instruments the string-woman employed.

The night ended with the third band.  Another local power pop group but these guys were a marked improvement over the first band - Sort of like The Nerves or The dBs if you're familiar with those groups.  The Rep stuck around to listen and was friendly to fans who approached him.

A great night and hats off to Brad for making it happen.
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